Common names: witch’s nest, bird mistletoe, winter seeds, goat nuts, bird nuts.
Parts Used: Leafy branches. Pharmacy name: mistletoe grass – Visci heiba (formerly: Herba Visci albi).
Botanical description. It is a dioecious, highly branched, evergreen shrub with a round (to spherical) shape that parasitizes coniferous and deciduous trees, especially softwood trees. The leaves are leathery, oblong-obovate or spatulate, narrowed towards the base, placed oppositely at the ends of the forked branches. Inconspicuous pale yellow flowers are densely crowded in the final inflorescence. In their infancy, they exist already a year before flowering. Blooms in March-April. Berry fruits ripen in December. The seeds are spread by birds.
Collection and preparation. On deciduous trees, mistletoe is easy to find in late autumn and winter when there is no foliage. Then she is recognized by the round “nests” on the trees. More difficult with coniferous trees. Here the mistletoe is to be looked for by its leaves, which fly to the surface of the soil. Having found them, carefully look at the branches of spruce or fir. The best collection time is March and April. They take the leafy ends of the branches, carefully dry them, then cut them.
Active ingredients: viscotoxin, lectin, flavonoids, biogenic amines, mucus.
Healing action and application. The action of mistletoe should not be overestimated, although it is likely that in the near future it will be of importance as an anti-cancer agent. Mistletoe can serve as an adjuvant in the treatment of high blood pressure; it can be prescribed to old and old people along with hawthorn to improve the work of a “tired heart”; you can try to use it for arthrosis, also during the recovery period after severe infectious diseases to strengthen the weakened heart muscle. There are many galenic products made from mistletoe, but tea can also be used, although one should not expect too much from it.
- Mistletoe tea: 2 teaspoons topped with mistletoe pour 1/4 liter of cold water and strain after 10-12 hours. Dosage: 2 cups every day.
Use in homeopathy. The homeopathic product Viscum album has many uses. It is used to improve the well-being of the elderly, to prevent and mitigate atherosclerotic diseases, as well as against attacks of dizziness and epileptic conditions. The likelihood of a decrease in blood pressure should be treated with restraint. The drug should be used in dilution D 1 and D6, dosage: 5-15 drops 3 times every day.
Application in folk medicine. The medicinal use of mistletoe dates back to the 5th century BC. BC e. In the first century Pliny we find that mistletoe is good for epilepsy and vertigo attacks. Hieronymus Bok (1498-1554) and P.A. Mattiolus (1501-1577) claims that mistletoe ointment heals boils, ulcers, and festering wounds, while Sebastian Kneipp recommends mistletoe to stop bleeding and treat circulatory disorders. Of all these possibilities of use, folk medicine has little use, mainly drinking mistletoe tea against mild cardiac disorders of a nervous nature.
Side effects. There are no known side effects when using mistletoe tea at the above dosage.